By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced its third quarter testing numbers Monday, with cycling sitting in third as the most tested sport behind track and field and swimming, respectively. USADA performed 90 out-of-competition tests and 146 competition tests on cyclists in the third quarter, which is during the second half of the North American racing season.
"USADA announced six anti-doping rules violations in the third quarter of 2008, including one lifetime suspension for a non-analytical positive of a coach, two suspensions for THC, one suspension for Boldenone and 19-Norandrosterone, and two public warnings for Triamcinolone Acetonide," a USADA statement said.
Of the violations, three were cyclists – one road racer and two BMX racers. Ricardo Hernandez, 42, tested positive for exogenous testosterone during the Vuelta Independencia Nacional. He accepted a two-year suspension and forfeiture of results since March 2, 2008, the date his urine sample was collected.
BMX racer Michael Kapes, 20, tested positive for the steroid Boldenone and 19-norandrosterone during the National Bicycle League's Gator Nationals on March 15, 2008 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Kapes accepted a two-year suspension from July 7, the day his provisional suspension was accepted, and is also disqualified from all competitive results obtained since the day the sample was collected.
Finally, Steven Cisar, 22, a silver medalist at the 2008 UCI BMX World Championships in China, accepted a three month deferred suspension for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active substance found in marijuana. In an open letter, Cisar apologized for his actions.
"I make absolutely no excuses for my actions, other than to say, I did an incredibly dumb and irresponsible thing," the letter said. "I want to express my most sincere apologies to my sponsors, fellow competitors, family, friends, and fans who have supported me over the years.
"I can only hope that I will not be judged by one poor decision, as that is not who I am or what I stand for. I value hard work, clean racing, integrity, and the camaraderie I share with the racing community. More than anything, I love racing my bike. Throughout the course of life, we will all make mistakes. I have certainly learned from this one, and will not compromise my values or let down my fans again."
The number of tests carried out during the third quarter for cycling was higher than the second quarter (192) and lower compared to the first quarter (283). The total number of tests carried out by USADA across all sports for the third quarter was 1,789, part of 6,115 for the year.